Do Interns Have to be Paid in California?

Anyone who has dipped their foot into the job market in the last few years will attest to the fact that it is an employer’s market. New graduates, current students who want to get a leg up, and even not so new graduates are increasingly willing to work for free in hopes of getting their foot in the door and landing a full-time job or just to have something to fill a growing gap in their resume.  Many employers are more than happy to take advantage of the free labor. But should you? California and federal law requires payment of minimum wages and other protections to employees.  These protections are not extended to independent contractors or trainees and interns.  However, misclassification of independent contractors and interns could be extremely costly to employers. Do interns have to be paid?   It depends on whether the person working for you constitutes an intern exempt from minimum wage laws. An opinion letter issues by the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) outlines 6 criteria used to analyze whether a worker is an … Continue reading

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